How did the Equal Rights Amendment, an effort born in bipartisanship, end in polarizing defeat? Clearly, the ERA
prompted a profound debate about the place of women not only in the workforce but in the home, the family, and society itself, in the course of which the amendment became entangled with the rise of the religious right that helped to bring about Reagan’s electoral sweep. Was the ERA
the cause of polarization or its victim? Or did it turn out to be something else: a catalyst for positive change in legislative and judicial attitudes?